Mobile-Friendly SEO: An Essential Part of Your SEO Strategy
In recent years, mobile-friendliness has become an increasingly important factor in search engine optimization (SEO). With more and more people accessing the web from their smartphones and tablets, it's crucial to optimize your website for mobile devices, so you can provide a positive user experience and rank well in search.
Back in 2017, Google unveiled mobile-first indexing—a practice where they prioritize the mobile version of your website when crawling it for search. Given the priority that Google has placed on mobile websites, making sure your site is mobile-friendly is an essential part of a modern SEO strategy.
To help you understand this topic, we'll delve more into the role of mobile-friendliness in SEO, explain how Google measures it, and discuss the benefits of having a mobile-friendly website. We'll also provide tips for making your site more mobile-friendly, so you can maximize its SEO potential.
What is Mobile-Friendliness and Why is It Important for SEO?
Mobile-friendly websites are optimized for display and navigation on mobile devices. Their layout and design adjust seamlessly to fit smaller screens so that users can easily interact with all your content and features without having to zoom or scroll excessively. There are several reasons mobile-friendliness is important to your site’s SEO.
Mobile-friendliness ensures that your website's content is easily accessible and relevant for mobile users. This improves its user experience and engagement which are ranking factors Google uses when prioritizing your site in search results. The more mobile-friendly your site is, the better it will rank, and the higher it will get listed in search results.
When your website is properly optimized for mobile devices, search engines are much more likely to show it instead of competitors’ sites. That’s because your site provides audiences with the best user experience to meet their needs. This bump in your organic search ranking will increase exposure for your site, and traffic to it.
If your website is easy to navigate on a mobile device, audiences are more likely to stay on it for longer periods to engage with more of your content. This can lead to lower bounce rates and higher conversion rates.
Higher Conversion Rates
We just hinted at this, but a better mobile site leads to more conversions. When your contact forms, shopping carts, and page experiences are designed properly for mobile devices, they make it much easier for your audiences to convert. Otherwise, your website could drive mobile users away, leading to lost traffic and business opportunities.
Mobile-friendliness is crucial for SEO in today's digital landscape. By providing a seamless and enjoyable experience for mobile users, you can improve your website’s accessibility, traffic, engagement, and conversions.
How Google Measures Mobile-Friendliness
Now that we've established the importance of mobile-friendliness for SEO, we’ll explain how Google measures it. One of the primary tools that Google uses to assess a website's mobile-friendliness is the Mobile-Friendly Test. This is a free tool that allows you to enter your website's URL and receive a report on whether your site is mobile-friendly according to Google's standards. The report also provides recommendations to improve your site’s mobile-friendliness.
In addition to the Mobile-Friendly Test, Google also considers several other factors when determining your website's mobile-friendliness. These include your site's page loading speed, the presence of responsive design, and the ease of access to all your page elements on mobile devices. All these factors can affect your Google search rankings.
Tips for Making Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Now that we've covered the benefits of mobile-friendliness and how Google measures it, we’ll share tips for making your website more mobile-friendly.
One of the most effective ways to make your website mobile-friendly is to leverage responsive design. With it, the layout and design of your site adjust seamlessly to fit different screen sizes and devices. This ensures that regardless of the device they’re using, all users have a positive and seamless experience on your site.
In addition to responsive design, you may also want to consider using mobile-specific design features and icons, such as a hamburger menu, to make your website more user-friendly on mobile devices. A hamburger menu is a small button that displays three horizontal lines and is commonly used on mobile websites to display a drop-down menu of navigation options.
Optimize Page Loading Speed
Page loading speed is another important factor for both mobile-friendliness and SEO. Mobile users are more likely to abandon a website if it takes too long to load, so it's important to ensure that your website loads quickly. There are several ways to optimize your page loading speed, such as optimizing images and using a content delivery network (CDN).
Ensure All Page Elements are Accessible on Mobile Devices
It's important to ensure that all your page elements, such as buttons, links, and form fields, are easily accessible on mobile devices. This means that they should be large enough to be tapped easily with a finger and should not be too close together. User testing is one way you can see how people interact with your site and it can help you identify any page elements that aren’t accessible. Working with companies or tools that audit sites for accessibility can also uncover these issues, so you can correct them.
Use Mobile Testing Tools
If you’re unsure what areas of your site need to be optimized for mobile, one thing you can do is leverage tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. These tools can help you identify areas you can improve your site to ensure it’s mobile-friendly, so you can reap the SEO benefits from it.
Get an SEO Assessment
When you don’t feel confident using self-help tools or you don’t feel technical enough to work with their results, you can always get an SEO assessment. Agencies like Velir can perform an SEO assessment of your website, to provide you with a prioritized list of SEO improvements you can make to your site, including ways to make your site more mobile-friendly. Velir also has the development resources to make these changes for you and make your site mobile-friendly.
Mobile Testing Tools
There are several tools that you can use to check the performance of your mobile site. Some options include:
- Google's Mobile-Friendly Test: This is a free tool that allows you to enter your website's URL and receive a report on whether the site is mobile-friendly according to Google's standards. The report also provides recommendations for improving the website's mobile-friendliness.
- PageSpeed Insights: This is a free tool developed by Google that analyzes the performance of your website on both desktop and mobile devices and provides recommendations for improving its speed and performance.
- Lighthouse: This is an open-source tool developed by Google that analyzes the performance, accessibility, and SEO of your website. It also provides you with a report containing recommendations for improvement. Lighthouse can be run as a Chrome extension or from the command line.
- GTmetrix: This is a free tool that analyzes the performance of your website and provides a report with recommendations for improvement. It also offers a paid version with additional features and analysis options.
- WebPageTest: This is an open-source tool that allows you to test the performance of your website on a variety of devices and browsers. It provides a detailed report with recommendations for improvement.
Mobile-friendliness is crucial for SEO in today's digital landscape because of the priority Google places on the mobile version of websites. By providing a seamless and enjoyable experience for mobile users, your mobile-friendly website can improve its search rankings, increase traffic, and drive conversions. There are several ways to make your website more mobile-friendly, including using responsive design, and mobile-specific design elements, optimizing page loading speed, ensuring all page elements are easily accessible on mobile devices and getting an SEO assessment. By prioritizing mobile-friendliness in your SEO strategy, you can improve the overall performance and success of your website by catering to Google’s mobile-first indexing.